Anxiety is a thing which we experience daily, and now it’s a usual thing for us. But there are people who have Social Anxiety, which is often referred to as the shyness of facing the public or meeting any social situation or even the thought of how a person would be viewed by others. It gets even worse in the Elderly people due to the following reasons:
• It comes with more losses
• They suffer from more pain and chronic conditions
• The anxiety is often a side effect of the medications they are taking
• It comes with other elements like Alzheimer’s disease or depression
Many people are scared of public speaking or are always conscious about their looks, but it’s even more troublesome in older people. Eventually, they even keep themselves from going to social occasions because of
• Hearing impairment
• Issues with incontinence (weak or no control over bladder or large intestine, which might lead to the involuntary passing of urine or feces
• Embarrassment of using a walker or wheelchair.
Due to the adverse effects it has on one’s life, anxiety should be treated and it deserves attention no matter what. These are some of the ways by which social anxiety can be dealt with successfully in the elderly:
1. Practice how to stay relaxed
‘What will happen next?’When you constantly think about this question with regards to a certain event coming up, you are automatically linking anxiety to it. You should learn and practice the ways to relax yourself. Try practicing how to talk in a public situation. The best way is to stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself in a confident manner. This will build up the confidence in you and will prepare you for the upcoming gatherings.
2. Work on your Sleep and Diet Plans
You should start focusing on what you eat. Try to get adequate sleep as it is vital for a healthy and stress-free living. Your mind and body are linked so if your body is stressed out due to lack of sleep or hunger, it will automatically create negative thoughts in your minds leading to social awkwardness.
3. Exercise Regularly
It is the best tool to fight social anxiety as exercise releases endorphins which calms down your body. It uses up adrenaline, which is released while you are anxious. This way it burns off the stress hormone.
4. Practice deep breathing every day
Deep breathing is a process in which you are trying to inhale and exhale maximally. It replenishes every cell of your body with oxygen and flushes out the unwanted carbon dioxide. It is very useful to indulge in this activity as it calms down both your body and your soul. Thus, it helps you fight the social anxiety.
5. Enjoy participating in Social Situations
If you will continue to avoid the social gatherings they will continue to bother you, and it will get worse eventually. So you should start putting yourself more into social situations in order to show yourself that it is normal.
6. Focus your attention outwards
The people with social anxiety focus more on their feelings and how they look. They should make themselves busy noticing the outer world like the color of the furniture or the clothes other people around them are wearing. That will help them to focus less on themselves, hence making them less anxious.